Idol Worship

In from the Heart, Knowledge digest on 24/06/2008 at 17:38

There was a request to Guruji to talk on Idol Worship… As usual i don’t remember verbatim what He said, it was all in Hindi, here it is freely translated:

This is not an explanation for a gyani (One who dabbles in Knowledge), it’s for a premi (a lover)

We require some name and form to anchor our mind to. When we do Pooja to an idol, the starting mantras mean something like, Oh my God, who is within me, come on out here into this idol, so i can play with you! and then we do the Pooja, mimicking God: He has provided us with food, so we offer some rice (as if it’s ours to offer, What belongs to God, we simply give to God), and we offer flowers, etc…

Then just as He is doing our aarti with the sun and the moon, we light a small lamp and do His aarti… Pooja means that which is born out of fullness of the heart (Poo ja = jo Poornata se Janam leta hai woh) it’s done with deep gratitude and a sense of mischief… and when we have finished, the mantras say, ok, now that i have finished playing with you, come back within me…

Its very difficult for our minds to even begin to comprehend the immensity and vastness that is the (formless) God… so we create a name and a form, and can get some relationship, some anchor and then we worship that…

When the Guru Granth Saheb is printed in the printing press, it is just printed paper… But when it is installed in the home or the Gurudwara, then it becomes Sacred and Holy… It is the consecration of the book that makes it the Guru, and that is through our feelings for it… It’s just a book, until we ourselves through our feelings make it the Guru, and venerate it.

(I have to add my own thing here: Pooja when done the right way, gives incomparable deep meditative bliss, to experience just come to the Bangalore Ashram any monday morning at 7:00 am… AND you do get really, really nice food to eat afterward as well! :))

In the days of yore, there were no mobiles or internet, and it was very difficult for a lover to communicate with his beloved… So, whatever had to be said was simply said to a photo… Now, that photo was not the beloved, was it? just a representation of the beloved…

Similarly, we do Pooja to the Idol… as a representation of God!


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